Access and Reference

See News & Events for upcoming course dates or contact our Archives Advisor.

Course Description

Providing good reference service to archival users is a key function of any archives. If done well, it can increase use, improve community relations and generate some revenue. If done poorly, it can damage reputations, decrease use and sour relationships. This course will help you begin or improve your reference services and covers such topics as access policies, how to conduct reference interviews, copyright and other reproduction considerations, professional ethics, dealing with sensitive material in your holdings, managing reference services, security and collecting statistics on use.

This course is part of the CNSA Archival Certificate Program.

Learning Method

Learning is done through a combination of lecture, personal reading, and practical exercises. The course is either held online across three half-day sessions or in person over two full days.


Introduction to Archives or experience working in an archive.


Registration is open to anyone although preference is given to CNSA Members. Staff and/or volunteers at CNSA member organizations, which are in good standing, can register at the discounted rate. Multiple staff/volunteers from a member organization may be eligible for a group discount. Please contact our Archives Advisor for details.

Members are eligible for a travel subsidy if this course is offered in person. Click here for Expense Claim Form for travel subsidy.